Skip to main content

There are persistent rumors that some rambunctious Republicans are going to go rogue and take up the art of politics and governing just like in the old days.

Running in the other direction is the promise by the crazies to shut down the government if they don't get the Affordable Care Act repealed.

Those of us who are not Republicans have a dog in this fight over the soul of the GOP.

The roots of civil rights law are in the Republican Abraham Lincoln.

The roots of anti-trust law are in the Republican Theodore Roosevelt.

The top marginal tax rate of over 90%, and much major wealth-spreading and education-spreading took place under the Republican Dwight Eisenhower.

If the Republicans had not voted with the mainstream Democrats to break the Dixiecrat filibuster, we would not have gotten the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Republicans used to be interested in governing rather than burning witches, but there's a whole generation of voters out there with no experience of sane Republicans, and it's a damn shame.

When I lived in Indiana, I used to lobby my senators about foreign policy.  I was much more satisfied with the responses from the Republican Dick Lugar than from the Democrat Evan Baye.  This would be the same Sen. Lugar who co-sponsored with Sen. Obama a bill to fund the decommissioning of Soviet nukes and deliver the resulting power plant fuel to the US.  The same Dick Lugar who subsequently got primaried by the witch hunter branch of the GOP.

While they were both funded ultimately by corporate interests, there used to be two parties with differing ideas about the role of government and both parties used to be interested in governing rather than running about with pitchforks and torches.  To that end, they worked toward the common good by their own lights.  

The Democrats had since the New Deal been a permanent numerical majority because they represented the working class and the Republicans represented big business.

Neither side denied this, and the Republicans would win when they had a beloved leader on their ticket (Eisenhower) or when the Democrats split (Nixon).

Then the Democrats ran off the Dixiecrats, the racists, the final straw being the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The Dixiecrats went Republican.

The so-called "Moral Majority" quickly gave up on influencing the Democrats in the seventies, when their religious program, consciously anti-sex, played out as anti-women just when women were coming to leadership.  The Moral Majority went Republican.

A group of intellectuals devoted to perpetual American military hegemony even at the cost of perpetual war, the neo-conservatives, abandoned the Democratic Party en masse over the influence of the peace wing that hadn't seen a war they liked since WWII.  The neocons went Republican.

All these disgruntled ex-Democrats found a home together in the minority party and they have set about cleansing it to their liking.

The questions for our time are two.

Will the voters buy domestic policy from the Moral Majority and foreign policy from the neocons in one package?

If not, will the GOP survive?  Will the conservatives who really want to govern become Democrats or start their own show?  People who really want the responsibility of governing don't remain independents for long.

I suggest that if we wind up in a period of one party rule, very little lasting good will come of that.  There are legitimate arguments about democracy as multi-party or two party, and points in favor of each.  There is no sensible argument for one party rule—state, federal, or tribal.

Remember this before dancing on the Republican grave.  There's a lot of history for the GOP to be proud of, along with missteps easily matched by Democratic missteps.

There will be no democracy without a loyal opposition, but what we have now in opposition are at best disloyal and at worst lunatics.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site